Real estate firms and brokers are beginning to recognize the value of marketing, particularly online marketing. Some succeed at it, but others continue to cling to the archaic, wasteful, and expensive techniques of traditional marketing through newspapers, postcards, and handing out pens. These folks will eventually change. You are already far ahead of the game and have a higher chance of identifying and dominating your niche in the market because you are actively keeping up with new trends and tools for marketing your business online.
There is one thing you must do, though, in order to fully achieve the potential of your marketing: you must CREATE A CAPTIVE AUDIENCE. This distinguishes the heavy hitters from those who are barely keeping afloat. Your real estate business will begin to realize its true potential to advance to the next level after your audience has grown so reliant on your advertising and services.
A Captive Audience Is What?
The captive audience that Apple has built for itself is the best example of what that term means in the real world. One of the most recognizable corporate titans of our day, Steve Jobs, is credited with developing and sustaining some of the most successful marketing tactics we have recently witnessed. Apple's marketing is right up there with some of the best, including that of Nike and Coca-Cola.
Customers have grown to be devoted fans as a result of the successful marketing that Apple continues to push out. Take the recent WWDC (Apple's Developer Conference) in San Francisco, California, as an illustration. Tech bloggers, journalists, reporters, gadget gurus, and Apple "fanboys" are all on their knees at this event as they wait to see what great new gadgets Apple has in store for them next. People who are prepared to stand in line for hours, shell out a lot of money for admission, and skip work to attend these kinds of events are considered captive audiences.
Even those who have never purchased an Apple product have started to follow these events to see if they would abandon their PC or Blackberry in favor of becoming an ardent Apple supporter like so many others around the world. It is incredible how much excitement Apple is able to generate for these events days and months after they take place. The level of excitement generated months before these events even take place is even more amazing.
How To Captivate An Audience
Let's take a look at some things that Apple continues to do that have enabled them to reach a point where consumers (including the current company) will pay more than $100 for a rock with an Apple logo on it. Apple is an example of a corporation that has successfully developed a genuine captive audience.
Step 1: Determine Your Target Audience
Knowing your target market is essential before you can build a cult following like Apple has. Apple targeted consumers who were searching for something novel, aesthetically pleasing, simple to use, and desirable among peers. Using this method, Apple managed to keep its core clientele of younger college students and young professionals while fast reaching out to practically all other generations.
Ideally, you identified your target market when you created your marketing strategy, and you are aware of the specific types of consumers who make up your target market. If not, you must respond to the following inquiries:
- What age range makes up the bulk of your clientele?
- What age group would you like to work with?
- What does your clientele's average annual income look like?
- How much money do the clients you want to deal with typically make?
- What additional demographics (such as family size, marital status, and so on) make up your clientele?
- What additional demographics are you aiming to reach?
Although there are many more qualifications you should consider, these six will help direct your thoughts in the correct direction. Knowing the demographics of both your present customer and the clientele you hope to attract is crucial since, if you're pursuing a new market, the latter will directly affect your marketing strategy.
Step 2: Assess Your Target Audience
The next step is to evaluate this group to ascertain what your real estate prospects and clients want and require after you are aware of the types of people who make up your target audience. In the case of Apple, they were able to recognize that the market went much beyond merely college students and recent graduates. Beginning with these groups of people undoubtedly assisted Apple in developing the viral marketing strategy required to break down barriers and enter other markets, such as those of PC owners, graphic designers, artists, and other professionals that were so acclimated to using PCs.
You will undoubtedly run into trouble if you determine that your target market is single professionals seeking an urban living in downtown neighborhoods adjacent to commercial districts when you have consistently sold suburban single-family houses. Make sure your company's objectives align with the market's realities and the inventory you have on hand. On the other hand, if you're feeling ambitious and you've realized how important it is to focus on a particular area of your business, go after that niche and rule it. Your captive audience will be developed here.
Step 3: Make A Buzz
Knowing your target audience throughout and out will enable you to generate the excitement and anticipation necessary to make them pliable in your hands. Never assume that your sector isn't exciting or seductive enough to pull this off since businesses like Coke have done it with soda, Nike with shoes, and Apple with phones and computers. Before these businesses executed some of the most memorable and enduring marketing efforts we have ever seen, none of this was particularly fascinating.
The most recent instance of this is the series of Apple advertisements, which include an amusing discussion between an actor portraying Apple and an actor portraying PCs on a plain white background.
You must complete the following tasks in order to generate buzz among your audience:
- Choose a niche (e.g., modern single-family homes near excellent pre-schools and kindergartens for young families, luxury condos for single professionals in commercial districts, etc.).
- Handpick a few properties from your inventory to highlight
- Give these features a backstory so that people may relate to them on an emotional level. Emotions, personal relationships, and desires play a role in major transactions.
- In order to spread the word about these features, use viral marketing. Using conventional techniques like print advertisements, mailers, and even uninteresting virtual tours lacks the attraction necessary to generate buzz. To generate interest in these properties, explore different channels including social media marketing (Facebook, Flickr, YouTube, and Twitter). You won't believe how far a popular YouTube commercial or video can travel.
- Make visiting these properties an occasion in and of itself to generate demand for them. Make the viewing a memorable experience for the prospect by substituting a viewing with a client or open house. Make them feel as if a red carpet has been rolled out for them. People enjoy and desire to feel significant and unique. You will be that much closer to developing your captivated audience if you can satisfy their desires.
Step 4: Create Your Captive Audience
You have successfully targeted your audience and generated awareness about the house you are selling or the real estate consulting service you are providing. What's next?
You must now take action.
Apple's continued success is not a result of its marketing, but rather the high caliber of the products they produce and the support they provide. Everything you've done up to this point depends on how well you advertise yourself, how well you use powerful outlets like the Internet to spread the news about your real estate business, and how well you're able to generate the kind of suspenseful anticipation that devoted fans love to experience.
Your years of expertise and education are now required to live up to everything you have promised. If you have portrayed the luxurious condo near the city's center as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, you must follow through with the client who is prepared to make the purchase. Your follow-up must be flawless, and your post-sale support must be unmatched. In the same way that Apple has done for itself with computers and smartphones, if you follow through on every aspect of selling a property, from marketing to closing to support after the sale, then the recommendations and reputation you will build for yourself will keep you in the upper echelon of real estate professionals.
As a result, you have just built your captive audience. Congratulations!
HINT: Don't overdo something just because it was successful for another home. The residents in this situation must match the campaign's goals. For iPod Shuffles, you don't see people forming days-long lines in front of Apple stores. Instead, they wait in line for iPhones, which Apple carefully markets through its buzz and viral channels.
If you have ever managed to enlist a captive audience or generate this kind of anticipation for a real estate transaction, please let us know about it. We will even publish your story on our blog and assist you in gaining more recognition and visibility for your efforts to help other real estate professionals break the mold of the real estate sector, which is in desperate need of support at the moment.